Are you familiar with your inner voice? That voice in your head I have nicknamed the Chatterbox. If you have an unhealthy self-esteem this Chatterbox can be a vicious bully causing devastating effects in your life.
Let’s take a bit of time to ask yourself a few questions:
Do you blame yourself for things that go wrong?
Do you judge yourself based on what others are thinking of you?
Do you think others do not like you?
Do you think others are laughing at you?
Do you feel others are always judging you?
Do you beat yourself when you make a mistake?
Do you keep a memorized list of your failures?
Do you often call yourself names? (ugly, fat, stupid, weak, incompetent, etc.)
Do you always strive to be best?
Do you feel like a failure if you can’t be the best?
Do you exaggerate your weaknesses?
Do you often want to hide and disappear at social gatherings?
Do you believe your Chatterbox speaks the truth to you?
If you answered yes to most of these questions, your Chatterbox can be compared to a psychological assassin attacking you at every angle.
How do I know this? Sadly, in the days of my youth, paranoia consumed my every waking moment. I believed people were always looking to find fault with me so they could laugh, judge and make fun of me. My stress level was on a constant high causing me to remain in a continuous state of alert. I was always on guard about what I said or did, everyday, in every way. To make matters worse my phobia was often taken out of context. Many people would read me as being a snob or conceited; how far from the truth they were!
A negative Chatterbox can creates within you many coping skills. Here are some examples (not a complete list of possible coping skills):
As long as you are striving for the impossible, you are not feeling inadequate or hopeless.
(2) Fear of Failure
Creates within you a fear of change, thereby, keeping you in your comfort zone.
(3) Fear of Rejection
Self criticism helps desensitize you to what others may think of you.
Turned within, instead of outwards, temporarily decreases your anxiety level by creating undeserved guilt.
The very first step to improving your Chatterbox is simply becoming aware of it’s existence. Start today to actively listen to the negative chatter. The next step is to begin challenging that chatter with positive, reinforcing statements. You must get assertive and sometimes aggressive with yourself.
Unfortunately, challenging your negative Chatterbox can create within you an internal war. Being at war with yourself can be a very disturbing. However, forewarned is forearmed. Any personal growth I experienced throughout my life has been challenging and well worth the effort.
Most of us do not like change, especially when your Chatterbox begins to work overtime warning you to remain in your comfort zone. To conquer your Chatterbox you must want to change for you, not for anyone else. It can become an exercise of courage to look in the mirror allowing yourself to see the truth of what you do NOT like, but more importantly, what you DO like.
Your Chatterbox has spent an entire lifetime filling your head with all your flaws. The truth is, we all have flaws, learn to accept that. The good news is, you have many other good to great personality traits, and talents, just waiting to be discovered. Take the time to discover the positive you, using it as a tool to gain confidence in yourself. This exercise alone will begin to increase your self-worth one step at a time.